Motshekga urged to suspend school sports amidst Covid-19 third wave fears
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PRETORIA- An activist on Friday urged South Africa’s Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga to cancel school sporting activities as the country braces for a third wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
School sports, especially as the winter season sets in, pose a potential risk for the spread of Covid-19, education activist Hendrick Makaneta said in a statement.
"The fact that some schools are now closed due to several cases of Covid-19 is enough justification for the call to suspend school sporting activities. We cannot afford to risk especially now that we are entering the winter season. Government should suspend school sporting activities without delay,” he said.
“There is no doubt that sporting activities in schools defeat the whole purpose of social distancing and can serve as the conduit that enables the virus to be transmitted faster.”
Makaneta said he would write to Motshekga on the matter.
On Thursday, the government reported that Covid-19 cases had increased by 3, 221 in the last 24 hours, heightening fears of the dreaded third wave.
In a statement, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said the national tally of confirmed cases to date now stood at 1,605,252, with 29,362 of them still active.
South Africa’s Covid-19-related death toll had risen to 55,012 with 44 new fatalities, he added.
Nineteen of the deaths were in the Free State province, 13 in Gauteng, five in the Western Cape, three in Kwa-Zulu Natal and two each in the Eastern Cape and Northern Cape.
"The number of tests conducted to date is 11,010,999. Of these 42,073 tests were conducted since the last report. The cumulative recoveries now stand at 1,520,878, representing a recovery rate of 94.7 percent," Mkhize said.
He added that 455,169 healthcare workers had now been vaccinated against the virus in South Africa.
Mkhize had earlier on Thursday come under fire from opposition parties over the government’s overall response to Covid-19 and the slow pace in vaccinating people even as the third wave looms.
The Economic Freedom Fighters, Democratic Alliance and Inkatha Freedom Party said the government had let the population down and would likely not meet a target of vaccinating 40 million people by the end of the year.
– African News Agency (ANA)